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To Your Health - Musicians Cramp: An Update on Focal Dystonia


Copyright 2024, Mark Alan Wade

Primary Author: Byl, N.
Journal Title: International Musician
Date Published: Dec-06
Language: English
Category: Nervous Disorders
Key Words: dystonia cramp musician
Full Citation: Byl, Nancy. To Your Health- Musicians Cramp: An Update on Focal Dystonia. International Musician 104, no. 12 (December 2006): 11.
Full Abstract: Musicians' cramp is known as focal dystonia. One common type of focal dystonia to affect musicians is focal hand dystonia. In this disorder, involuntary co-contractions of the flexor and extensor muscles create abnormal postures of the fingers, thumb, and wrist. Current evidence of the cause of focal hand dystonia supports a model of aberrant or excessive neural plasticity due to intensive and repetitive practice of fine movements of the fingers and hand. Once a pattern is well-learned and established, successful remediation requires retraining the brain. Behavioral retraining may be supplemented with appropriate medications to minimize muscle spasms.